You've been a very naughty nun! Yes, you have been!
The United States Conference of
Catholic Bishops denounces Sr Elizabeth Johnson’s book,
Quest for a Living God,
as “Distorting” and “Misleading”
is it required reading in our schools and institutes of ministry and
Everyone has an opinion and there’s “free speech” under certain rigid circumstances, even if free speech may not permit honesty or the best interests of the common good. But where do we have to draw the line?
Does everyone have the guaranteed right to say anything at all about anything? Almost everyone writes books today on practically every subject…and a lot of it is trash, we admit, but what if some of the trash leaks into places where it can make a wrong impression? Like schools and colleges? What then? Shouldn’t educators be held to a very high standard of honesty, accuracy, integrity.
What about people in the public eye? Public figures. Teachers.
Professors. Spokespersons? Don’t they have a special responsibility to exercise care and discretion? Don’t we…shouldn”t we hold them to a higher standard because of their visibility? Well, that’s all good ‘on paper.’ And in our permissive, liberal, licentious culture of lies, greed, self-centeredness, and spiritual death everyone jumps on Satan’s bandwagon.
This is just as true for nuns and priests as it is for tabloid authors.
- Naughty Author/Nun Johnson
In a recent statement the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops has condemed a book written by a female religious, a Roman Catholic nun, a “sister of St Joseph”, Katherine Johnson, who teaches at Fordham (Yeah, the Jesuit university. Surprised?). The bishops’ statement is clear: the book is “misleading” and it “distorts Catholic teaching.” The USCCB committee goes on to say the statement was issued publicly due to the book’s departure from Catholic theological tradition as well as “the fact that the book is directed primarily to an audience of non-specialist readers and is being used as a textbook for study of the doctrine of God.” This is expecially insidious, since the students using the book do not have the knowledge that allows them to discern the distortions and departures from revealed Truth.
In my academic career I have been exposed to quite a few “nutty professors” who expose “green,” poorly prepared [adult] students to far-fetched, even revolutionary ideas–one might say irresponsibly–by citing authors or even requiring books by authors who, like Johnson, are may not be “authorized” or “approved” and may be expressing their own “distorted” ideas. This is even more disturbing when such teachings occur in Catholic education institutions right under the noses of some widely acknowledge “liberal” and permissive bishops! This raises the questions that have been raised for many years now, since nuns have been turned loose on the world, their advanced degrees paid-in-full by religious orders, and their questionable obedience and allegience to the Church, even to the God they allegedly serve. Nuns have become persons in and of the world in too many ways–the only thing that might separate them from other careerist women is that they might live in a community of women, and even that is not true in all cases.
We’d like to hear from you on the question of “Wotz a nun?” Leave a comment. See our post on “Smoke of Satan,” too!
Read more on this at Commonweal
And on the USCCB site at Quest for Living God
And Cardinal Wurl’s Statement on Johnson’s book.